Sunday, September 9, 2012

September Birds

I recently purchased a new camera - the Nikon 1 V1 10.1 MP Camera with 10-30mm VR and 30-110mm VR 1 NIKKOR Lenses along with the Nikon FT-1 F-Mount Adapter which allows me to use all of my DSLR lenses on this new camera body.  The big advantage here is that the Nikon V1 camera has a "CX" sensor which is considerably smaller than the sensors on the DSLR, but provides a 2.7X crop factor.  What does all of that mean?  Basically, my 300mm lens becomes a 800mm lens, and my 300mm + 1.7X TC becomes a 1,375mm lens (when compared to 35mm equivalent) giving me a big advantage at a much smaller price than buying a massive new lens.   I also have the advantage of hooking up a smaller lens, such as my 105mm f/2.8 macro lens to this camera which makes it nearly a 300mm f/2.8 macro while letting me also carry my standard camera with 300mm + 1.7X converter.  A nice combo to be walking around with!

All of the above means that I can get more up-close photos of birds without being so, well, up-close.  The first bird I wanted to test this out on was the American Kestrel who has taunted me for years by always being just out of reach.  Maybe now my fortunes would change, but as I found out yesterday (saturday) the wind worked against me keeping me from approaching the 20+ kestrels at EPCAL.
Today, the winds were light - but that meant the runway featuring the most birds (the eastern runway) was being used for skydiving so I wouldn't have access to these birds and was forced to stay on the western runway where the birds were few and far between.  I did find a pair of savannah sparrows though who let me try out the new system.

After the sparrows, I searched around some more and couldn't find anything.  I left to get gas and figured I'd drive through the property on my way to Dune Road when I spotted an American Kestrel that looked as though it may be cooperative.  I was able to photograph the Kestrel as it approached a grasshopper, plucked it up and enjoyed its meal on some mullein.  I still would have liked to have been a lot closer, and being completely unfamiliar with the camera led to some not-so-perfect images, but certainly better than anything I've gotten before of a Kestrel at EPCAL which means there are a lot of great shots to come!

I wasn't completely shutout yesterday, however.  I did find a green frog and a pickerel frog, which is a species I'd never seen/photographed before.

If you are interested in the Nikon V1 system - check it out for yourself: